New Penn State Nittany Lions head coach James Franklin is wasting no time on the recruiting trail.
On Sunday night, Franklin added another commitment, as 4-star wide receiver and former Rutgers commit Saeed Blacknall announced his decision to flip to Penn State, via his official Twitter page:
I have officially committed to THE PENNSYLVANIA STATE UNIVERSITY #WeARE....— Saeed RaaShad (@RaaShad_TTG) January 27, 2014
Blacknall becomes the seventh player to commit to the Nittany Lions since Franklin was hired back on Jan. 11. He also becomes the school’s 23rd player in its Class of 2014, jumping eight spots to No. 20 on 247Sports’ football recruiting team rankings.
But more importantly, the addition of the Englishtown, N.J., native is vital to Penn State’s depth.
Following wide receiver Allen Robinson’s decision to declare for the NFL draft earlier this month, the team will now be without two of its three leading receivers. Robinson caught 97 passes for a team-high 1,432 yards and six touchdowns.
With Blacknall, the Nittany Lions are set to welcome an impressive wide receiver class, including fellow 4-star prospects De’Andre Thompkins and Chris Godwin along with talented 3-star wideout Troy Apke.
A former Manalapan High standout, Blacknall appeared to be a mortal lock to stay in state and play for the Scarlet Knights. However, after making a surprise visit to Penn State on Jan. 18, things changed.
At 6’3” and 210 pounds, Blacknall certainly has the strength to outmuscle defenders and the speed—he runs a 4.45 40—to blow past them. He is definitely a target whom quarterback Christian Hackenberg will love working with next season.
Blacknall also held offers from the likes of Alabama, Florida State, Clemson, LSU, Ohio State and Notre Dame among others.